Falafel Farewell

Mediterranean favorite Ali Baba faces abrupt closure in Lakewood

Mediterranean favorite Ali Baba faces abrupt closure in Lakewood

Ali Baba's feta cheese and olives mezze
Ali Baba signature hummus with cheese and olives. Photo courtesy of Ali Baba

Get your hummus fix quick: The Lakewood branch of Mediterranean mini-chain Ali Baba is shutting down. Spokeswoman Natalie Meyer confirmed that the restaurant will close on December 24.

"That branch has been open since 2009, and we liked Lakewood, but it didn't have the daytime business we need," she says. "That was a big point for us. And the parking situation made it hard to have that type of lunch business we have at our other locations."

That location at 1901 Abrams Rd. has an iffy profile. Although right on the main drag in the center of Lakewood, it's not particularly visible; its previous tenant, the well-funded Carrabba's Italian Grill, wasn't able to survive.

Owners Adam and Jalal Chanaa moved to that location after closing their first Ali Baba on Lower Greenville. They also have a branch in Richardson and a sister concept called Terra Mediterranean Grill, with branches in Fort Worth and Irving.

Over the past 20 years, Ali Baba has won numerous awards from several publications. Many loved it for its lunchtime buffet, with a wide selection of menu items of a quality just as good as items ordered from the menu.

The Chanaa brothers have been scouting for other suitable sites in Dallas, including Uptown, Meyer says.

"We've been working hard on getting all that together, but we had several things fall through," she says. "We're still figuring that out, but we hope to open a new location in 2015.

"Closing on December 24 was a natural point. Everybody is busy during that time. It seemed like a good point to break it off."